Sony RX100 III Comparison Review
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III is a fixed lens compact camera that was announced in May 2014 and is equipped with an one-inch sensor. It offers a resolution of 20 megapixel.
Is the Sony RX100 III a good camera? The RX100 III has a Camera Elo of 2116. This rating puts the RX100 III among the top 40 percent of all travel zoom compact cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (one inch cameras), the RX100 III ranks below average. Based on its within category standings, the camera earns a 3-star performance rating.
|Sony RX100 III|
|Fixed lens compact camera|
|20 MP, 1" Sensor|
|ISO 100-12800 (80-25600)|
|Electronic viewfinder (1440k dots)|
|3.0" LCD, 1229k dots|
|Tilting screen (no touchscreen)|
|10 shutter flaps per second|
|320 shots per battery charge|
|102 x 58 x 41 mm, 290 g|
Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.
Body comparison with a credit card
An illustration of the physical dimensions of the Sony RX100 III vis-à-vis a credit card is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Sony RX100 III alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.
|Sony RX100 III||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||290 g||320||n||May 2014||799||-||Sony RX100 III|
|Canon G5 X« »||112 mm||76 mm||44 mm||353 g||210||n||Oct 2015||799||-||Canon G5 X|
|Canon G7 X« »||103 mm||60 mm||40 mm||304 g||210||n||Sep 2014||699||-||Canon G7 X|
|Panasonic FZ1000« »||137 mm||99 mm||131 mm||831 g||360||n||Jun 2014||899||-||Panasonic FZ1000|
|Ricoh GR II« »||117 mm||63 mm||35 mm||251 g||320||n||Jun 2015||699||Ricoh GR II|
|Ricoh GR« »||117 mm||61 mm||35 mm||245 g||290||n||Apr 2013||799||-||Ricoh GR|
|Sony RX100 V« »||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||299 g||220||n||Oct 2016||999||Sony RX100 V|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||102 mm||58 mm||41 mm||298 g||280||n||Jun 2015||999||-||Sony RX100 IV|
|Sony A5000« »||110 mm||63 mm||36 mm||269 g||420||n||Jan 2014||449||-||Sony A5000|
|Sony A5100« »||110 mm||63 mm||36 mm||283 g||400||n||Aug 2014||549||Sony A5100|
|Sony RX100 II« »||102 mm||58 mm||38 mm||281 g||350||n||Jun 2013||749||-||Sony RX100 II|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Sony RX100 III was launched in the US market at a price of $799. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
The Sony RX100 III features an one-inch sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.7. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Sony RX100 III among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Sony RX100 III||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||12.3||495||67||Sony RX100 III|
|Canon G5 X« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||-||-||-||-||Canon G5 X|
|Canon G7 X« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||23.0||12.7||556||71||Canon G7 X|
|Panasonic FZ1000« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.1||11.7||517||64||Panasonic FZ1000|
|Ricoh GR II« »||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.6||13.7||1078||80||Ricoh GR II|
|Ricoh GR« »||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.6||13.5||972||78||Ricoh GR|
|Sony RX100 V« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.4||586||70||Sony RX100 V|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||22.8||12.6||591||70||Sony RX100 IV|
|Sony A5000« »||APS-C||19.8||5456||3632||1080/60i||23.8||13.0||1089||79||Sony A5000|
|Sony A5100« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.8||12.7||1347||80||Sony A5100|
|Sony RX100 II« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.5||12.4||483||67||Sony RX100 II|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The RX100 III indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the RX100 III can use is 1080/60p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the RX100 III has an electronic viewfinder with a resolution of 1440k dots. The viewfinder offers a field of view of 100% and a magnification of 0.22x. The tables below summarize some of the other core capabilities of the Sony RX100 III in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Sony RX100 III||1440||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100 III|
|Canon G5 X« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||1/2000s||5.9||Y||Y||Canon G5 X|
|Canon G7 X« »||-||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||1/2000s||6.5||Y||Y||Canon G7 X|
|Panasonic FZ1000« »||2359||n||3.0||921||swivel||n||1/4000s||12.0||Y||Y||Panasonic FZ1000|
|Ricoh GR II« »||-||n||3.0||1230||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n||Ricoh GR II|
|Ricoh GR« »||-||n||3.0||1230||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n||Ricoh GR|
|Sony RX100 V« »||2359||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||24.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100 V|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||2359||n||3.0||1228||tilting||n||1/2000s||16.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100 IV|
|Sony A5000« »||-||n||3.0||461||tilting||n||1/4000s||3.5||Y||n||Sony A5000|
|Sony A5100« »||-||n||3.0||922||tilting||Y||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n||Sony A5100|
|Sony RX100 II« »||-||n||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0||Y||Y||Sony RX100 II|
One convenient feature of the RX100 III is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Sony RX100 III||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX100 III|
|Canon G5 X« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon G5 X|
|Canon G7 X« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon G7 X|
|Panasonic FZ1000« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Panasonic FZ1000|
|Ricoh GR II« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Ricoh GR II|
|Ricoh GR« »||Y||mono||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-||Ricoh GR|
|Sony RX100 V« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX100 V|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX100 IV|
|Sony A5000« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A5000|
|Sony A5100« »||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony A5100|
|Sony RX100 II« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Sony RX100 II|
It is notable that the RX100 III offers wifi support. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
The RX100 III has a zoom lens built in (8.8-25.7mm f/1.8-2.8), which, in full frame equivalent terms, provides a focal length range from 24 to 70mm. The camera is, hence, ready to shoot, while remaining more compact in size than an interchangeable lens camera with an optic that offers similar focal length and aperture specifications.
While the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the RX100 III in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).
|Sony RX100 III||+ +||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||May 2014||799||-||Sony RX100 III|
|Canon G5 X« »||+ +||78/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Oct 2015||799||-||Canon G5 X|
|Canon G7 X« »||+ +||77/100||4.5/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||699||-||Canon G7 X|
|Panasonic FZ1000« »||+ +||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2014||899||-||Panasonic FZ1000|
|Ricoh GR II« »||-||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||699||Ricoh GR II|
|Ricoh GR« »||-||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2013||799||-||Ricoh GR|
|Sony RX100 V« »||+ +||83/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2016||999||Sony RX100 V|
|Sony RX100 IV« »||+ +||85/100||4/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||999||-||Sony RX100 IV|
|Sony A5000« »||+||-||4.5/5||o||4.5/5||Jan 2014||449||-||Sony A5000|
|Sony A5100« »||+||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2014||549||Sony A5100|
|Sony RX100 II« »||+ +||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2013||749||-||Sony RX100 II|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (-) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Sony RX100 III FAQ
Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the RX100 III.
What type of imaging sensor is used in the RX100 III?
The camera features a BSI-CMOS (Backside Illuminated Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.
Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?
Sony equipped the RX100 III with the BIONZ X image processor.
What is the ISO sensitivity range of the RX100 III?
The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 80-25600.
Does the camera have a selfie-friendly screen?
Yes, the LCD-screen of the RX100 III is flexible and can be turned to be front-facing for capturing selfies.
Is it difficult to use manual focus lenses with the Sony RX100 III?
The RX100 III offers focus peaking as a manual focus aid. This feature works by placing a colored highlight on in-focus zones within the image.
Does the Sony RX100 III feature an autofocus assist light?
Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.
Does the Sony RX100 III support the Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus interface for SD cards?
Yes, the camera can indeed use UHS-I cards (data transfer speed of up to 104 MB/s).
Which battery does the RX100 III use?
The camera gets its power from the NP-BX1 (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.
Camera to camera comparisons
If you would like to see a side-by-side review of this and another camera, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon 20D vs Sony RX100 III
- Canon 40D vs Sony RX100 III
- Canon 7D vs Sony RX100 III
- Canon G3 X vs Sony RX100 III
- Canon T6 vs Sony RX100 III
- Leica Digilux 3 vs Sony RX100 III
- Nikon D300S vs Sony RX100 III
- Nikon D850 vs Sony RX100 III
- Olympus E-400 vs Sony RX100 III
- Ricoh WG-6 vs Sony RX100 III
- Sony A77 II vs Sony RX100 III
- Sony HX90V vs Sony RX100 III
|Camera Model||Sony RX100 III|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||24-70mm f/1.8-2.8|
|Launch Date||May 2014|
|Launch Price||USD 799|
|Sensor Format||1" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||13.2 x 8.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||116.16 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||15.9 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||20 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5472 x 3648 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||2.41 μm|
|Pixel Density||17.18 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-12800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||80-25600 ISO|
|Image Processor||BIONZ X|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||67|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.4|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||12.3|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||495|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||1440k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||1229k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen|
|Autofocus System||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/2000s|
|Continuous Shooting||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Silent Shooting||no E-Shutter|
|Time Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in|
|Battery Type||NP-BX1 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||320 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging|
102 x 58 x 41 mm
(4.0 x 2.3 x 1.6 in)
|Camera Weight||290 g (10.2 oz)|
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